What I'm Reading Friday with @meganslayer ~ . . . And His Lovely Wife: A Campaign Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man by Connie Schultz #iamreading

This week, I read . . . And His Lovely Wife: A Campaign Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man by Connie Schultz. I already liked Sherrod Brown’s book and when I saw his wife had written a book (I do enjoy her column), I had to read it. It was good. I liked how she dealt with the chaos of the campaign trail and blending families along the way. It’s an easy read and well worth the time. Grab a copy.

Writing with warmth and humor, Connie Schultz reveals the rigors, joys, and absolute madness of a new marriage at midlife and campaigning with her husband, Sherrod Brown, now the junior senator from Ohio. She describes the chain of events leading up to Sherrod’s decision to run for the Senate (he would not enter the fray without his wife’s unequivocal support), and her own decision to step down from writing her Pulitzer Prize-winning column during the course of one of the nation’s most intensely watched races. She writes about the moment her friends in the press became not so friendly, the constant campaign demands on her marriage and family life, and a personal tragedy that came out of the blue. Schultz also shares insight into the challenges of political life: dealing with audacious bloggers, ruthless adversaries, and political divas; battling expectations of a political wife; and the shock of having staffers young enough to be her children suddenly directing her every move. Connie Schultz is passionate and outspoken about her opinions–in other words, every political consultant’s nightmare, and every reader’s dream.

What I'm Reading Fridays with @MeganSlayer ~ Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout #books #reading

This week I read Olive Kitteridge. I’m not really much for this kind of book because, well, it’s depressing. I can handle horror or gore or books that are depressing but it’s going somewhere. I didn’t at all get where this story was going. It was snapshots of people’s lives, but dog gone it was depressing. I kept waiting for the moment it got better. I was mistaken. It might be something others will love, but it wasn’t one I did.

At the edge of the continent, Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but seen through this brilliant writer’s eyes, it’s in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama–desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love.

At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance: a former student who has lost the will to live: Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.

As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

#books I want to reread with @meganslayer #iamreading

Find the other blogging challenge posts here!

This week’s post concerns books I want to reread. I have to admit I read a lot. A few years ago I joined a book club to read books I wouldn’t normally read. A few of those books were ones I enjoyed. Quite a few were ones I wouldn’t have picked or read in a million years.

But this post is about the books I want to reread.

In no particular order because I don’t have one 🙂

Bag of Bones by Stephen King – this one scared me, but also stuck with me. I had a dream about the book, so yeah, it stuck with me.

Another book is The Firm by John Grisham. I know, he can be trite and can get boring sometimes. He can. But this one I read in a day and couldn’t put it down.

In the non-fiction vein, I’d like to reread In the Shadow of the Moon by Francis French and Colin Burgess. It was quite detailed and I learned a lot about the various moon landings. I loved it.

I’m a sucker for Jean Arthur movies. I could watch Mr Smith Goes to Washington over and over because it’s Jean Arthur. I loved The More the Merrier, You Can’t Take It With You and Talk of the Town because of her. This book told me so much about this actress, like how she was older than a lot of the starlets at the time. She was an independent woman for her time. She had a love of animals, especially cats. I just love her. If you don’t know about her, then read this book.

And the last one is Of Muppets and Men – the Making of the Muppet Show by Christopher Finch. There’s so much about how the show was made, the puppets, the magic of the show…I just loved it. It’s out of print, but if you can find a copy, it’s worth the read.

What about you? What books would you like to reread? Maybe I can add them to my TBR list. 🙂

Since you’re here, check out my contribution to the Billion Dollar Love Manlove Edition Anthology, As Long as You Love Me.

Get ready for our billionaire bad boys…

Our six hand-picked stories are a delicious treat for romance lovers. The heroes are filthy rich, naughty, and need the right man to show them that money can’t buy love. Some have earned their fortunes legally, and others dominate the underground. One thing they have in common—when they finally fall in love, they fall hard.

Enjoy one story a day, or binge the entire anthology.


Beautiful Chains by L.J. Longo

Or Something by Loralynne Summers

Fallen Angel by Louise Collins

Can’t Be Bought by Victoria Vallo

Possession by Pelaam

As Long As You Love Me by Megan Slayer

What I'm Reading Fridays with @meganslayer Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940 (Historical Studies of Urban America) by Chad Heap

This week I read Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940 (Historical Studies of Urban America) by Chad Heap. It’s not easy reading. It’s not hard reading, but you have to pay attention. Sometimes, it reads more like a textbook and other times it reads like an interesting narrative. I’ve wanted to read about this topic for a while and I’m glad I picked up this book. It took a while to read, but that’s okay. It was worth the time.

During Prohibition, “Harlem was the ‘in’ place to go for music and booze,” recalled the African American chanteuse Bricktop. “Every night the limousines pulled up to the corner,” and out spilled affluent whites, looking for a good time, great jazz, and the unmatchable thrill of doing something disreputable.

That is the indelible public image of slumming, but as Chad Heap reveals in this fascinating history, the reality is that slumming was far more widespread—and important—than such nostalgia-tinged recollections would lead us to believe. From its appearance as a “fashionable dissipation” centered on the immigrant and working-class districts of 1880s New York through its spread to Chicago and into the 1930s nightspots frequented by lesbians and gay men, Slumming charts the development of this popular pastime, demonstrating how its moralizing origins were soon outstripped by the artistic, racial, and sexual adventuring that typified Jazz-Age America. Vividly recreating the allure of storied neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village and Bronzeville, with their bohemian tearooms, rent parties, and “black and tan” cabarets, Heap plumbs the complicated mix of curiosity and desire that drew respectable white urbanites to venture into previously off-limits locales. And while he doesn’t ignore the role of exploitation and voyeurism in slumming—or the resistance it often provoked—he argues that the relatively uninhibited mingling it promoted across bounds of race and class helped to dramatically recast the racial and sexual landscape of burgeoning U.S. cities.

Packed with stories of late-night dance, drink, and sexual exploration—and shot through with a deep understanding of cities and the habits of urban life—Slumming revives an era that is long gone, but whose effects are still felt powerfully today.

What I'm Reading Fridays ~ The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone @meganslayer #iamreading

This week, I read The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone. I have to admit there are some ridiculously long sentences in this book. Now, being a writer myself, that seems like a silly thing to say–long sentences. The thing is, this woman, Elizebeth Friedman, was a complicated woman in a complicated time. She did complicated work, so it stands to reason the book about her would be complex. It is. But I got lost a couple times in the middle of the long sentences trying to figure out what the author was talking about. This is a long read, but it’s interesting. Elizebeth carried a huge load between her family and her cryptologist job. If you’re interested in how the USA helped win WWII, then this is a must read. Check it out!

Joining the ranks of Hidden Figures and In the Garden of Beasts, the incredible true story of the greatest codebreaking duo that ever lived, an American woman and her husband who invented the modern science of cryptology together and used it to confront the evils of their time, solving puzzles that unmasked Nazi spies and helped win World War II.

In 1916, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the U.S. government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code-breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the “Adam and Eve” of the NSA, Elizebeth’s story, incredibly, has never been told.

In The Woman Who Smashed Codes, Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation’s history for forty years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert mission to discover and expose Nazi spy rings that were spreading like wildfire across South America, advancing ever closer to the United States. As World War II raged, Elizebeth fought a highly classified battle of wits against Hitler’s Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German spies. Meanwhile, inside an Army vault in Washington, William worked furiously to break Purple, the Japanese version of Enigma—and eventually succeeded, at a terrible cost to his personal life.

Fagone unveils America’s code-breaking history through the prism of Smith’s life, bringing into focus the unforgettable events and colorful personalities that would help shape modern intelligence. Blending the lively pace and compelling detail that are the hallmarks of Erik Larson’s bestsellers with the atmosphere and intensity of The Imitation Game, The Woman Who Smashed Codes is page-turning popular history at its finest.

What I'm #Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ Rocket Girl by George Morgan

I have a love of biographies. There’s something about learning about other people that appeals to me. I’ve always had an interest in rockets and NASA, too. I’ll never be a rocket scientist or astronaut (I hate being up high and math isn’t my friend), but it’s neat to read about those who understand both. The book this week that I’m reading is a biography with some creative license taken. I know the author, the son of Mary Morgan, doesn’t know the precise conversations his mother had as a child. She wasn’t a chatty person. But that’s okay. It’s still an engrossing read. Maybe it’s something you’d like. It’s what I’m reading today.

LIKE THE FEMALE SCIENTISTS PORTRAYED IN HIDDEN FIGURES, MARY SHERMAN MORGAN WAS ANOTHERUNSUNG HEROINE OF THE SPACE AGE-NOWHER STORY IS FINALLY TOLD.This is the extraordinary true story of America’s first female rocket scientist. Told by her son, it describes Mary Sherman Morgan’s crucial contribution to launching America’s first satellite and the author’s labyrinthine journey to uncover his mother’s lost legacy–one buried deep under a lifetime of secrets political, technological, and personal.In 1938, a young German rocket enthusiast named Wernher von Braun had dreams of building a rocket that could fly him to the moon. In Ray, North Dakota, a young farm girl named Mary Sherman was attending high school. In an age when girls rarely dreamed of a career in science, Mary wanted to be a chemist. A decade later the dreams of these two disparate individuals would coalesce in ways neither could have imagined.World War II and the Cold War space race with the Russians changed the fates of both von Braun and Mary Sherman Morgan. When von Braun and other top engineers could not find a solution to the repeated failures that plagued the nascent US rocket program, North American Aviation, where Sherman Morgan then worked, was given the challenge. Recognizing her talent for chemistry, company management turned the assignment over to young Mary.In the end, America succeeded in launching rockets into space, but only because of the joint efforts of the brilliant farm girl from North Dakota and the famous German scientist. While von Braun went on to become a high-profile figure in NASA’s manned space flight, Mary Sherman Morgan and her contributions fell into obscurity–until now.

What I'm #reading Friday with @meganslayer ~ Desk 88 by @SenSherrodBrown

I thought I’d start posting each Friday what book I’m reading. I love to read and why not share what I’m reading. Do you need to read it? That’s up to you to decide. It just happens to be what I picked up to read this week.

My first post involves a book I picked up because I like history. I like reading about what happened before and learning from said history. Senator Sherrod Brown wrote Desk 88 about progressive senators. I might not agree with everything they (or he) says, but I respect their thoughts. This isn’t a political ploy. I wanted to read about the senators that shared the same desk he now uses. It’s engrossing and interesting. Is it the book for you? You decide.

Despite their flaws and frequent setbacks, each made a decisive contribution to the creation of a more just America. They range from Hugo Black, who helped to lift millions of American workers out of poverty, to Robert F. Kennedy, whose eyes were opened by an undernourished Mississippi child and who then spent the rest of his life afflicting the comfortable. Brown revives forgotten figures such as Idaho’s Glen Taylor, a singing cowboy who taught himself economics and stood up to segregationists, and offers new insights into George McGovern, who fought to feed the poor around the world even amid personal and political calamities. He also writes about Herbert Lehman of New York, Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee, Theodore Francis Green of Rhode Island, and William Proxmire of Wisconsin.

Together, these eight portraits in political courage tell a story about the triumphs and failures of the Progressive idea over the past century: in the 1930s and 1960s, and more intermittently since, politicians and the public have successfully fought against entrenched special interests and advanced the cause of economic or racial fairness. Today, these advances are in peril as employers shed their responsibilities to employees and communities, and a U.S. president gives cover to bigotry. But the Progressive idea is not dead.

Recalling his own career, Brown dramatizes the hard work and high ideals required to renew the social contract and create a new era in which Americans of all backgrounds can know the “Dignity of Work.”